19-year-old left-arm spinner had a breakthrough season with Karachi Kings in HBL PSL4
Young left-arm spinner Umer Khan is eager to represent Pakistan in the future, after a successful showing in the, recently concluded, HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) season four.
While playing for Karachi Kings, Khan ended up as the joint-fourth highest wicket-taker, in his debut HBL PSL season.
While speaking in an exclusive interview with pakpassion.net, Khan expressed his desire to don Pakistan colours.
“If I am being honest with myself and based upon how I have played in the PSL, I do feel that I have the ability to play international cricket,” said Khan. “I will make full use of any opportunity to play for Pakistan if I am ever given the chance to play for my country in the future.”
The 19-year-old also shed light on his experience of playing under the tutelage of Pakistan Head Coach Mickey Arthur and legendary pacer Wasim Akram, in the Kings camp.
“Working with Pakistan’s head coach and the legendary Wasim Akram was another amazing experience. They both taught me about many aspects of bowling such as how to read a batsman in order to bowl the right ball to him,” he said. “I have to say that I was honoured to work with both of them.”
Khan has become a household name, especially in Karachi, after he stole the limelight with the ball during HBL PSL4.
While speaking about the change this brought in his life, Khan said: “It’s a strange feeling and obviously one that I am enjoying too. Before I played for Karachi Kings, not too many people knew about my bowling or even recognised my face. But all that has changed now.”
Khan’s success during HBL PSL can be gauged from the fact that some of the top T20 stars, from all over the world, were in his victims list. But getting the prized scalp of Lahore Qalandars’ skipper AB de Villiers was the moment he cherishes the most.
“Obviously, it was something special to get the wickets of some of the top players in the PSL like Luke Ronchi, AB de Villiers and Shane Watson,” he said. “But if there was one wicket that I will remember for a long time, it has to be that of Lahore Qalandars’ AB de Villiers. I had always wished that I would get a chance to bowl against this great batsman and that is what happened. In fact, not only did I get to bowl to him, but I also took his wicket.”
Speaking about his immediate plans, Khan said that putting up a good show during the upcoming Pakistan Cup — which is scheduled to begin on April 2 in Rawalpindi — is his priority.
“What I intend to do is to continue to work very hard and the upcoming Pakistan Cup will be another opportunity like the PSL, for me to perform at my best. My objective is to do well in this tournament,” he said.
Khan was realistically optimistic about his chances of representing Pakistan at the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia.
“I feel I am ready for international cricket if my country needs me. Even if I am not able to make it to the World Cup squad this time around,” he said. “I am still hoping that I'll be able to impress the selectors for next year’s T20 World Cup so there’s a lot to look forward to and aim for.”